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U.S. Slips Again in World Press Freedom Index

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US Slips again in World Press Freedom Index

The U.S. has fallen from 43rd to 45th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index—due in no small part to President Donald Trump and his routine attacks on the press, according to a report released on Wednesday by Reporters Without Borders.

“In 2017, the 45th President of the United States helped sink the country to 45th place by labeling the press an ‘enemy of the American people’ in a series of verbal attacks toward journalists, attempts to block White House access to multiple media outlets, routine use of the term ‘fake news’ in retaliation for critical reporting, and calling for media outlets’ broadcasting licenses to be revoked,” the report from RWB read.

Countries like Germany and South Africa are ranked higher than the U.S., while nations like North Korea, Russia, and Myanmar—whose leaders called the persecution of Rohingya Muslims “fake news”—fall on the bottom half the list. In 2016, the U.S. ranked at number 41 on the press-freedom index.

The new report points out that Trump often singles out journalists and news outlets. Last week, the president attacked Maggie Haberman, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist at The New York Times, calling her a “third rate reporter and a “Hillary flunky.” Trump also claimed he has never spoken with Haberman, who broke multiple stories based on statements from the president and his associates.

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